REI Co-op announced last month that it was looking to sell its newly-constructed Washington headquarters — that it never moved into. Today, the outdoor retail giant revealed it has been sold to Facebook.
In a statement today, REI said it completed the sale of its campus — located in the Spring District neighborhood of Bellevue, Wash. — for $390 million to Facebook. The company said Facebook acquired the 400,000 square-foot campus and roughly six acres of land. The remaining two acres of land where REI built the HQ were purchased by site developer Wright Runstad & Company and Shorenstein Properties.
“We first opened our Seattle office in 2010 with three engineers. Our growth over the last decade is a testament to the thriving community and immense talent pool that has welcomed us with open arms,” Nick Raby, Facebook director of real estate and facilities — North America, said in a statement. “This purchase doubles down on our investment in Bellevue and our commitment to the Pacific Northwest.”
Also, REI and Facebook announced plans to donate $1 million each to Eastrail Partners. The investment, according to REI and Facebook, will go to the 42-mile trail system in an effort to “connect the diverse communities and businesses of King County’s Eastside through access to transit alternatives, employee hubs and greenspace.”
In August, REI announced it was looking to sell the corporate campus. The retailer began construction on the facility on an 8-acre plot of land in 2018 and intended on moving into the facility this summer. However, the company said in a statement last month that it was moving toward “a less centralized approach to its headquarters presence in the Seattle area.”
“The dramatic events of 2020 have challenged us to reexamine and rethink every aspect of our business and many of the assumptions of the past. That includes where and how we work,” REI president and CEO Eric Artz said to employees last month, which was then shared in a statement. “As a result, our new experience of ‘headquarters’ will be very different than the one we imagined more than four years ago.”
The statement also said its headquarters will no longer be a single location, opting for multiple locations across the region. It also will make working remotely “an engrained, supported and normalized model,” which it has been doing with almost its entire workforce at the HQ since early March due to COVID-19 concerns.